Two years ago when online video burst onto the scene, the growth engine behind it was centered on consumer-driven uploading and sharing of video clips. At the time, commercial media companies were trying to take advantage of the migration of audiences to the Web and also open up new revenue streams through online video advertising.
Today, the growth engine behind online video has shifted dramatically. Video has expanded well beyond the media industry and into nearly every corner of the professional Web, as corporations, governments, non-profits and educational institutions look to use video as a cornerstone of how they communicate, market and inform on the Web.
With the explosion of online video adoption in the last two years, savvy marketers are now using video across their business to help build their online community, evangelize their products and engage directly with customers. The following examples are all our clients, but the video trend applies across many industries.
Building a community
Sun Microsystems leverages online video to help build community interactions and enhance the online experience of its developers, customers, partners, students and employees. The company uses online video extensively for product education, corporate communications and product launches through Channel Sun, its newest multimedia online experience. Community members and visitors to the site have on-demand access to a large library of video content, as well as the ability to comment on and rate the content to help foster ongoing engagement and interaction.
Evangelize your product
Serena Software recognized early on in the Web 2.0 era that video was a powerful force in promoting its brand and reaching customers directly. When Serena launched its "JUST @#$% IT!" campaign, the main video was placed on YouTube as a teaser to drive traffic back to the full campaign on MashupTV, where users could not only watch the video, but download free whitepapers and free trial software. The campaign drove thousands of viewers to the MashupTV site and tripled overall Web traffic to Serena's corporate site.
Boost customer engagement
Other companies like the San Diego Zoo and Kohler have launched online video initiatives to engage with customers in a more visual, impactful way. San Diego Zoo has the benefit of adorable, newborn animals to make its content compelling, but its videos also offer a detailed view of the conservation work zoo researchers are conducting to save endangered species in the wild and on-grounds.
Kohler has launched a comprehensive online video initiative to educate consumers on its range of products. This has proven to be extremely effective, as consumers making high-consideration purchases value the opportunity to see the product in action online. This can be accomplished more effectively through the use of video versus static images and text.
Online video has certainly become a powerful tool for marketers to expand their brand presence and reach customers and prospects in a new way. These companies recognize that when it is done effectively, video can be a major force in opening direct-to-consumer communications.